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word
January 29th, 2012, 16:00
If you have somehow managed to make it this far in life without acquiring a driver's license, get it now. You must have been licensed for 90 days in your home country (and actually spent 90 consecutive days in that country while licensed) in order to get a Japanese driver's license. I'm pretty sure this is a requirement for the IDP, as well, although I don't know how they'd check. If there is even a faint possibility that you will stay longer than one year, get your license NOW.

If you've been shortlisted, you literally have days remaining in which to do so.

Even if you put down a non-driving request on your app, do it anyway. There is no guarantee that you won't be placed in Butt-f*ck, Inaka. You might be within walking distance of your school, but that doesn't mean you'll be within walking/biking distance of anything else.

Do it now. You'll regret it if you don't.

So, I thought I'd do this thread again, but I wanted to start a little earlier this year. A thread on Official reminded me. You have more than a few days, but you should do it NOW.

Seriously, NOW.

Get your drivers' license. As I said last year... you'll regret it if you don't.

See this thread (http://www.ithinkimlost.com/applying-jet/16670-get-your-drivers-license-yo.html).

Eudox
January 29th, 2012, 22:55
word.

Ini
January 29th, 2012, 22:57
does this thread title comply with the latest rules?

word
January 29th, 2012, 23:02
I'm honestly not sure whether Google considers "frack" to be an obscene term or not.

Merrick
January 30th, 2012, 06:28
Reminds me, I should check to see when my license expires, too....

Merkypie
January 30th, 2012, 06:56
Reminds me, I should check to see when my license expires, too....

I got an 8 year license. I don't need to renew until I'm 31. ~Oh yeah~

Though, when I renewed, they still used my picture from when I was 16. That's gonna be awkward in a few more years.

bananallanah
January 30th, 2012, 07:25
Haha yeah I got my full licence (we have two stages of licences before you get the your full licence) when I was 17, I'm in my school uniform, thank god the lady told me to take off my school tie so I'm just in a white blouse....Woulda been awkward trying to get into a club when your ID is obviously you in your high school uniform.

Big Innes
January 30th, 2012, 08:04
I got an 8 year license. I don't need to renew until I'm 31. ~Oh yeah~

Though, when I renewed, they still used my picture from when I was 16. That's gonna be awkward in a few more years.

My licence is valid until 2059, when I turn 70.

Shea
January 30th, 2012, 10:54
I put on my application that I don't have a driver's licence. I actually do (have had it for 7-ish years), but I'm a little worried about the whole driving on the other side of the road thing, and how common is manual cars versus automatic cars. I know how to drive manual, but I'm not hugely great at it and I would definitely suck at it using my left hand.

Kittens
January 30th, 2012, 10:59
Driving on the left side of the road is weird for about a day, and then you get over it. The scary part is driving on tiny roads with deep gutters / dropoffs into rice fields and no guardrails :D

bananallanah
January 30th, 2012, 12:18
Oh yeah, coming from NZ I wouldn't have that issue :P

MJN
January 30th, 2012, 13:53
Just to add something here, I was told I "might" need a car but is suggested before I came, it turned out the alternative was a 20km bike ride every morning.

Get your licence, regardless what your pred/supervisor says beforehand.

uthinkimlost?
January 30th, 2012, 14:23
The switch on sides isn't rough, except when reversing out of a space into the street; you will find that those habits will die hard.

The streets are insanely narrow in most small towns. There are some two-way streets here that can barely contain a k-kar. I guarantee you most of you will be unprepared for that, and there's no good way to help get you ready.

Map sites and maps in general will lie to you about the quality of road. Two roads can be the same colour on the map but one will be a three lane and the other will be a one lane winding mountain road with gaijin traps on one side and a sheer drop off on the other.

tl;dr: Get your license, but arrive knowing you probably aren't prepared.

zero
January 30th, 2012, 14:24
Yeah...my predecessor had a car but I didn't have the money to buy it from her straight away. She said the placement didn't really need a car anyway because the BoE pay for taxis to and from the schools more than 5 minutes away. Turned out she meant she didn't need a car because she didn't go anywhere other then school...I definitely needed a car to go see people and do things that are fun. Luckily I got one on credit from a local dealer and paid it off over 9 months...and it was a better car than hers anyway. Don't listen to everything your predecessor says...they could turn out to be a loser but no one tells you in time!

Eudox
January 30th, 2012, 16:00
because the BoE pay for taxis to and from the schools more than 5 minutes away

:o

zero
January 30th, 2012, 17:01
:o

Yep...was good. Now they pay for my petrol for schools over 5 minutes away. They pay far too much for petrol. I hardly ever have to pay for my own petrol.

happyBuddha
January 30th, 2012, 17:24
Thanks for the advice guys. I'll be doing that ASAP.

Zero, who's your BOE?

zero
January 30th, 2012, 17:52
Thanks for the advice guys. I'll be doing that ASAP.

Zero, who's your BOE?

Errrr I'm not telling you that...then you'll know where I am...and that's a secret!

happyBuddha
January 30th, 2012, 21:43
Errrr I'm not telling you that...then you'll know where I am...and that's a secret!
Oh well, I'll just pray that my petrol gets reimbursed too!

Shea
January 31st, 2012, 08:01
Automatic transmission is significantly more common here. You wouldn't even be allowed to drive manual unless you got a manual transmission license, which is a different test to the regular one.
Driving on the left is easy. After going back to the States for a few week, I found that I legitimately prefer driving on the left.
Seriously, you'll be fine.


Thank you! I was worried and it said on the application that if you don't want to drive to check 'no'. This makes me feel a lot better about driving in Japan :D

Jiggit
January 31st, 2012, 08:35
You don't need to drive and they should make allowances for you if you don't so you should be ok but... I'm placed 15 minutes walk from my school and within walking distance of shops etc and still find it a royal pain in the ass. I would say get your driving sorted if it's at all possible. I don't drive and it's a chore whenever you want to visit somewhere not on the main rail line, go to a distant store, buy anything larger than can fit in a backpack and can't be delivered, go outside in the rain or snow, etc.

Also I know JETs who have their freaking rent paid for them and have houses that are twice the size of my apartment, so they make an extra 5man a month on me. I'd take that over getting gas paid

arcthemonkey
January 31st, 2012, 15:10
I walked/biked everywhere, and I lived in Hokkaido where we had 5 feet of snow on the ground for most of the year. Most of my schools were < 40 minutes walk, though, and anything further I got taxi tickets.

Driving would have been nice, except I wasn't allowed to drive to or from work sooooo

Lianwen
January 31st, 2012, 15:13
:o

Mine does too. Only sucks I`m in bumfck. They told me when it started getting cold, that if I ever didn`t want to walk to the bus stop and wait for the buses, I could take a taxi anytime I wanted to. The taxi company apparently has a tab set up for the BOE.

Only thing that doesn`t suck about my schools being in bumfck.

zero
January 31st, 2012, 15:18
I'd take that over getting gas paid

Yeah getting your transportation costs isn't that much of a big deal...I just enjoy their overestimation of how much petrol it takes to get to my schools. There are better perks and although my placement is what I consider rather rural - from hearing other people's situations mine is pretty sweet and having a car just makes it that little bit sweeter. Subsidised rent and an awesome supervisor are the bigger perks of this job.

coop52
January 31st, 2012, 15:20
I've been able to get along without a car, but there's been plenty of times where I wish I was able to drive. It'd be really nice to not have to plan shopping trips around what will fit on my bike or by what I can carry. It'd also be nice to be able to go on short day trips on the weekends without worrying about the train schedule (missing the train where I am means waiting 45 min- 2 hours for the next one). You might be able to get someone to drive you around sometimes, but you don't want to be "that guy" who always needs a ride for stuff.

I think even if you aren't allowed to drive for work, it still might be worth it to get your license/international permit sorted out. They can't control your driving in your free time.

zero
January 31st, 2012, 15:27
but you don't want to be "that guy" who always needs a ride for stuff.


God I HATE that guy!

word
January 31st, 2012, 16:32
God I HATE that guy!
Everyone does, unless he's a hot girl who loves giving bjs more than anything in the world. That's why it's so important to get license (unless, as I said, you're a hot girl with some mad bj love).

Gezora
January 31st, 2012, 18:09
Lol. Word = that pic of Bart Simspon I posted

word
January 31st, 2012, 18:12
I think you should stay out of Applying until the Bron wears off, word.
QFT

Amazing how leaving a single word out of a sentence can increase the stupidity of your post by over 9000.

Prospective
February 6th, 2012, 12:26
I think I'm gonna miss out on making the 3 month period. The earliest I could book my Learner's Permit test for is tomorrow. I need to hold it for 3 months to be able to apply for my Provisional Licence (in Australia we have "P Plates" which you need for 1-4 years before you get a full unrestricted licence).

6 months from tomorrow would be 7th of August, after both Group A and B departures... >_< I guess I'll need to see if I can get off my Learner's Permit earlier.

Does anyone know if Australians on their Provisional Licence are able to have that transferred to a Japanese licence anyway? Or would I need a full licence. The main restrictions in Australia between the two concern alcohol limits and number of driving infractions allowed...

PS: Trying to work out what word word originally left out. Can't do it =(

word
February 6th, 2012, 15:30
The first "unless."

I'd say go ahead and try, honestly. You've got very little to lose (assuming Australia doesn't charge an arseload of money for the permit and stuff) and, potentially, a great deal to gain.

See, what I'd recommend doing is shooting for your license, and even if you don't technically (or just barely) meet the timing requirements, there's always the possibility that the clerk at the J-licensing center will be new/won't understand/will make a mistake/will let it go/will consider the learner's permit to be an actual license/whatever. If any of those things happens, he/she will allow you to get your J-license, in which case--you're set! It's a long-shot, perhaps, but it's within the realm of possibility, and I'd say that would be a hell of a lot better than just not bothering with the license at all.

Cytrix
February 6th, 2012, 21:40
Adding to the 'yes get your damn licenses'.

If I didn't have my car I would not have had as many amazing experiences here as I have had these last 6 months. The ability to jump into my little car and zoom around to wherever I like, even if it's the local mall 15 mins away (but half an hour by bus), is awesome.

I adore driving in Japan

Merrick
February 8th, 2012, 01:41
How necessary are international drivers licenses?

lemsip
February 8th, 2012, 03:05
How necessary are international drivers licenses?

In a big city, completely pointless. But that's just my opinion. However, If you're stuck out in the middle of nowhere, that's a different story...

Merrick
February 8th, 2012, 05:22
In a big city, completely pointless. But that's just my opinion. However, If you're stuck out in the middle of nowhere, that's a different story...

That's generally what I was referring to. :p

Merkypie
February 8th, 2012, 05:28
I'm getting one, regardless. Having a car is important. I'm also a person that just likes to drive to places. I'll jump in a car and be like, " Hey, what's over there " and just drive. So, getting that Intl Drivers thing is gonna be top priority.

I don't want to be limited to a five mile radius of my apartment.

Merrick
February 8th, 2012, 05:37
I'm getting one, regardless. Having a car is important. I'm also a person that just likes to drive to places. I'll jump in a car and be like, " Hey, what's over there " and just drive. So, getting that Intl Drivers thing is gonna be top priority.

I don't want to be limited to a five mile radius of my apartment.

I would generally prefer to take the trains, even though JR west is totally shitty and always late and the private companies can be expensive, but if I'm like 30 minutes from the station, I'd rather drive than take the bus. There's too much obaachan etiquette on the bus and it makes me nervous.

With that said, I guess I'll look into the international drivers license thing and see what's required for it. If they want massive amounts of money they're out of luck....

Merkypie
February 8th, 2012, 05:58
I think its free if you go to AAA?

Merrick
February 8th, 2012, 06:00
I think its free if you go to AAA?

Really? I need to look that up then!

Merkypie
February 8th, 2012, 06:02
Here:

HcXkK3FXYB4

Merrick
February 8th, 2012, 06:18
If I wasn't in class right now, I'd totally watch it, and believe me I'd rather watch it than listen to this guy mispronounced 'meiji' one more time...

Prospective
February 8th, 2012, 07:38
If I wasn't in class right now, I'd totally watch it, and believe me I'd rather watch it than listen to this guy mispronounced 'meiji' one more time...

How is that even...?

Merkypie
February 8th, 2012, 07:44
Que

bananallanah
February 8th, 2012, 08:25
Yeah they're cheap as chips in NZ as well. I'd definitely get one if I get selected to go, I love driving and it makes exploring so much easier and Japan drives on the same side as the road as kiwis.

word
February 8th, 2012, 08:34
Mine was $15 from AAA. Get it; if you don't, you're a dumbass.

http://husbandsanddads.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/red_forman.jpg

Teishou
February 8th, 2012, 08:50
I definitely do not wish to drive in Japan, but I'll still get the IDP.

word
February 8th, 2012, 09:03
Smart move; it's always better to have the option.

Merrick
February 8th, 2012, 09:46
How is that even...?

I don't know. It was like chinese water torture. After the first "meejee" you wince but figure he'll get the hang of it. After the 100th time you're writhing in pain begging time to move faster. Luckily he avoided trying to say 'taisho'. I was anticipating something akin to "tayshow" or even "tayshoo", but he glossed over even saying it.

If an international drivers license is only $15-$20 that's totally awesome. While I hope I don't have to drive, I think I'm prepared for it if it happens.

Gezora
February 8th, 2012, 10:32
There's too much obaachan etiquette on the bus and it makes me nervous.

What is obaachan etiquette? Frantically shoving your way through everyone regardless of any kind of queue? Smelling like a combination of soiled adult diaper and toilet bowl freshener? Talking loudly and incomprehensibly in a jabbering monstrous dialect either to yourself or to your trollish, hunchbacked, lump of a friend?

Merrick
February 8th, 2012, 11:29
What is obaachan etiquette? Frantically shoving your way through everyone regardless of any kind of queue? Smelling like a combination of soiled adult diaper and toilet bowl freshener? Talking loudly and incomprehensibly in a jabbering monstrous dialect either to yourself or to your trollish, hunchbacked, lump of a friend?

This makes me terrified of whatever neighborhood you live in. Old folks just looked at you dreamily at the bus stops where I lived and smiled, making you feel guilty if you didn't sit at the back of the bus or give up your seat when a million of them got on. Can't daydream on the bus. Only ever give up your seat to irrationally content old people. It's awkward. But if they're hard asses where you are, that's probably better. :P

Gezora
February 8th, 2012, 11:33
I'm not going to give you my opinion of the old people in this country because it will make me sound like a monster.

zero
February 8th, 2012, 12:10
Just wondering - is an IDP necessary to change to a Japanese license?
I know they were very interested in my IDP when I changed mine and took it off me to put in the "records".

For example - if you've had a license in the UK/USA/Canada/Australia/New Zealand for over three months or whatever but you didn't drive in Japan for the first year and didn't get an IDP, can you just take your foreign license to the licensing centre and change over or would you have to start from scratch in that situation?

madeleine
February 8th, 2012, 13:20
I am pretty sure you can just go and get your license translated. You'll probably have to put one of those new driver licenses on your car, but depending upon your BOE/where you got your license you may have to do that anyway.

It's worth getting the IDP though since if you speed/have an accident it won't go as points on your license later.

Also, advice for applying JETs, it might be worth bring 3 - 4 months worth of bank statements/bills with you for when you get your license translated. They want you to PROVE you have been in the country where your license came from for 3 months after you got your license.

word
February 8th, 2012, 14:27
It's worth getting the IDP though since if you speed/have an accident it won't go as points on your license later.
THIS. I always tell new folks in my area to use their IDP for the entire year, if at all possible, for that very reason.

zero
February 8th, 2012, 14:27
I am pretty sure you can just go and get your license translated. You'll probably have to put one of those new driver licenses on your car, but depending upon your BOE/where you got your license you may have to do that anyway.

It's worth getting the IDP though since if you speed/have an accident it won't go as points on your license later.

Also, advice for applying JETs, it might be worth bring 3 - 4 months worth of bank statements/bills with you for when you get your license translated. They want you to PROVE you have been in the country where your license came from for 3 months after you got your license.

Does anyone know for sure though? They seemed to assume I had an IDP, which I did, but if I hadn't had one would I have been able to get a Japanese one without starting from scratch?

Just bring your passport. As long as you're stamped in and out of any country you visited and then can see that you were in your country for three months between licensing and Japanning you're set.

madeleine
February 8th, 2012, 14:36
Does anyone know for sure though? They seemed to assume I had an IDP, which I did, but if I hadn't had one would I have been able to get a Japanese one without starting from scratch?

Just bring your passport. As long as you're stamped in and out of any country you visited and then can see that you were in your country for three months between licensing and Japanning you're set.

If your passport is new, or you are an EU citizen and have been traveling around Europe (no stamps), or if coming to Japan is the first time you have left the country, or you received your driving license and haven't been on any trips since, it can be a problem.

My passport was 2 years old, in that time I had traveled around the EU but not anywhere else (other than Japan obvs.) Even though I had returned home during Christmas, that only proved I had been in the UK for 2 weeks. It was kind of ridiculous, but this is Japanese bureaucracy.

RE: Your first question, one of my friends was in the process of translating their license without an IDP so it is possible. I think the problems he had though were what I mentioned above - he didn't have anyway to prove he had actually live in the country for 3 months.

zero
February 8th, 2012, 14:45
If your passport is new, or you are an EU citizen and have been traveling around Europe (no stamps), or if coming to Japan is the first time you have left the country, or you received your driving license and haven't been on any trips since, it can be a problem.

My passport was 2 years old, in that time I had traveled around the EU but not anywhere else (other than Japan obvs.) Even though I had returned home during Christmas, that only proved I had been in the UK for 2 weeks. It was kind of ridiculous, but this is Japanese bureaucracy.

RE: Your first question, one of my friends was in the process of translating their license without an IDP so it is possible. I think the problems he had though were what I mentioned above - he didn't have anyway to prove he had actually live in the country for 3 months.

Good to know, thanks!


If you're travelling around Europe (no stamps) then no one has to know you went at all right?

therealwindycity
February 8th, 2012, 15:05
I agree with word. I was really worried about driving before I came over, but I've had fewer problems driving here than I did back in the U.S. My IDP has made my life a lot easier.

Merrick
February 8th, 2012, 21:04
Also, advice for applying JETs, it might be worth bring 3 - 4 months worth of bank statements/bills with you for when you get your license translated. They want you to PROVE you have been in the country where your license came from for 3 months after you got your license.

People my age are pretty good about being paperless with our bills/bank stuff in the states, so I have zero tangible letters like this. Is this only necessary, then, if you get your IDP and it expires and you need to get a japanese license (in that case you'd be presenting Japanese bill stubs)? Or even with an IDP?


I agree with word. I was really worried about driving before I came over, but I've had fewer problems driving here than I did back in the U.S. My IDP has made my life a lot easier.
This sounds awesome. I've recently become an irate commuter and hate it. Not that I'm saying Japanese drivers are perfect and will always follow traffic laws, but I'm fairly convinced that any driving is better than the driving where I live right now.

Ini
February 8th, 2012, 21:18
japanese drivers are the worst in the world. they dont do things out of spite or trying to take risks, they are just totally oblivious to their surroundings and posses no common sense

Merkypie
February 9th, 2012, 03:24
People my age are pretty good about being paperless with our bills/bank stuff in the states, so I have zero tangible letters like this. Is this only necessary, then, if you get your IDP and it expires and you need to get a japanese license (in that case you'd be presenting Japanese bill stubs)? Or even with an IDP?


Yeah, same question. My last job was completely paperless so I have no tangible to "prove" I've been in my country for 3 months or whatever. I don't even know why a bank statement would even prove that I was driving. Some people work in the city and don't even drive. What? That's stupid.

Merrick
February 9th, 2012, 03:48
Yeah, same question. My last job was completely paperless so I have no tangible to "prove" I've been in my country for 3 months or whatever. I don't even know why a bank statement would even prove that I was driving. Some people work in the city and don't even drive. What? That's stupid.

Ehhh. They like bills and bank statements compared to licenses and passports because printed bills sent through the postal service somehow 'proves' your residence and that you really do have the required paperwork to pay bills/own a house/have a bank account. I know one instance where my grandmother went through something similar in the '70s when they wouldn't let her back into the states from the UK because she forgot her green card and they wouldn't take her drivers license (because according to them it could be forged) and demanded she show them a bill envelope (because that could never be forged amirite?) or they were going to deport her. :lol: Still, that was 40+ years ago, so I wonder what they're doing now that paperless is popular because this could be a problem....

Merkypie
February 9th, 2012, 04:02
Oh, yeah, I can understand that part. Needing to prove residency like for utilities and what not but for a driver's license? XD That makes no sense... lol But it's Japan, nothing ever makes sense.

dialogue
February 9th, 2012, 21:01
Welp, folks from the US can get a super awesome printout from the DMV that takes care of that.

The proof of residency is to keep assholes from leaving Japan, renewing an IDP, and going back, I think.

Prospective
February 10th, 2012, 07:37
The proof of residency is to keep assholes from leaving Japan, renewing an IDP, and going back, I think.

You say that as if it'd be some terrible thing for someone to try and get the required 3 months experience after the fact.

madeleine
February 10th, 2012, 08:42
People my age are pretty good about being paperless with our bills/bank stuff in the states, so I have zero tangible letters like this. Is this only necessary, then, if you get your IDP and it expires and you need to get a japanese license (in that case you'd be presenting Japanese bill stubs)? Or even with an IDP?


Getting your IDP is easy, but when you need to get your license translated it is an incredibly bizarre process. If you have no paper statements, I would think even printing off bank statements etc. would work, even a copy of your transcripts from university might do. You don't present Japanese bills because you need proof that you have lived in the country you got your driver's license from for 3 months.

Japanese drivers are terrible. Like, if you put your hazard lights on it is acceptable to park anyway, or do any maneuver, regardless of traffic/where you have parked. It drives me insane that it's OK to park on blind corners here, or drive in a complete white out without your lights on.

dialogue
February 10th, 2012, 08:45
I say that as a statement, sans emotional reaction. It has nothing to do with getting the three month requirement and everything to do with stopping people from circumventing the law.

If you could exit the country and re-enter in a matter of days, renewing an IDP, why would you ever get a license? and etc. I thought this was obvious in my previous post.

Eudox
February 10th, 2012, 13:32
Japanese drivers are terrible. Like, if you put your hazard lights on it is acceptable to park anyway, or do any maneuver, regardless of traffic/where you have parked.

What are you talking about? This is the best part about driving in Japan! I love my hazard lights.

Merkypie
February 10th, 2012, 14:36
Basically, everyone in Japan drives like they're from South Florida, is what you're all trying to say... right?

Gezora
February 10th, 2012, 17:16
japanese drivers are the worst in the world. they dont do things out of spite or trying to take risks, they are just totally oblivious to their surroundings and posses no common sense

LOL

Gezora
February 10th, 2012, 17:18
Basically, everyone in Japan drives like they're from South Florida, is what you're all trying to say... right?

Yup. See somethingsomething for the story I posted about the old couple that died by accidentally plowing into the front of a supermarket.

TheDoctor
February 10th, 2012, 22:34
If you have your IDP how does one go about registering and insuring a car?

Ini
February 10th, 2012, 22:39
going to the car registration center and phoning an insurance company would be a good place to start

Merkypie
February 11th, 2012, 03:53
Yup. See somethingsomething for the story I posted about the old couple that died by accidentally plowing into the front of a supermarket.

lolwat. oh god. definitely will read that one.

Gizmotech
February 12th, 2012, 15:44
japanese people are the worst in the world. they dont do things out of spite or trying to take risks, they are just totally oblivious to their surroundings and posses no common sense

Fixed.

MJN
February 15th, 2012, 14:33
japanese drivers are the worst in the world. they dont do things out of spite or trying to take risks, they are just totally oblivious to their surroundings and posses no common sense

This. Especially in the middle of the country.

It's a case of being predictable erratic, as much as that may be an oxymoron. See that K-truck driver 10 meters infront, approaching a junction you're doing 80 towards? Yea, he's going to pull out infront of you. And do 50. Start breaking.

Ini
February 15th, 2012, 15:21
why would you be doing 80? naughty

MJN
February 15th, 2012, 18:09
why would you be doing 80? naughty

In the words of my supervisor: "Speed is ok, there is no traffic police. Fine is only small if caught so NO PROBLEM"

Yea, seriously. Plus the roads are straight enough you can... 80kph isn't fast. Edit: well, ok, it's close to terminal velocity for a K-car but still.

word
February 15th, 2012, 19:01
This. Especially in the middle of the country.

It's a case of being predictable erratic, as much as that may be an oxymoron. See that K-truck driver 10 meters infront, approaching a junction you're doing 80 towards? Yea, he's going to pull out infront of you. And do 50. Start breaking.

Start breaking.
breaking
breaking

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_UdD5-GDL4Jc/S5MEY4Fs8EI/AAAAAAAAAB8/HPwuYRTWuKY/s320/ffffuuuu.jpg

http://img60.imageshack.us/img60/1957/ffffuuuu.png

http://shinnok.com/rants/wp-content/uploads/ffffuuuu.jpg

Eudox
February 15th, 2012, 19:13
broken.

MJN
February 15th, 2012, 19:27
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_UdD5-GDL4Jc/S5MEY4Fs8EI/AAAAAAAAAB8/HPwuYRTWuKY/s320/ffffuuuu.jpg

http://img60.imageshack.us/img60/1957/ffffuuuu.png

http://shinnok.com/rants/wp-content/uploads/ffffuuuu.jpg

http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lcdkiamSPM1qe91wdo1_500.jpg

No really, faux pas. Please don't get your knickers in a twist.

SSJup81
February 17th, 2012, 03:45
Sorry for bumping this thread. I know it's been a while since I've been here, but I was curious of something. I had an IDP, but fortunately never had to drive. The drivers over there are scary. lol Anyway, it was only supposed to last a year and I got it through AAA (as I'm a member). Didn't cost much at all. Of course it did expire. In order to obtain another, would it be okay to actually fly back home (vacation time), do it through AAA again and then go back or is there a catch to that? To my knowledge, Americans can't just get the license translated over like other countries can without taking the driving lessons and all that (unless I'm wrong here).

Gizmotech
February 17th, 2012, 08:48
Umm... You don't want to get busted with it though. It's been in the news (not that I can find the link atm) about people using IDPs when it's clear they weren't in their home country 3 months before it was issued, as you're not supposed to chain IDPs.

SSJup81
February 18th, 2012, 10:51
Umm... You don't want to get busted with it though. It's been in the news (not that I can find the link atm) about people using IDPs when it's clear they weren't in their home country 3 months before it was issued, as you're not supposed to chain IDPs.I didn't even know that. I always wondered if it could be done, though. Well, at least in my case, I've been home for almost a year, so I can go the AAA route again without worrying about getting in trouble if I do end up working over there again.

arcthemonkey
February 21st, 2012, 08:41
There was also some talk that the IDPs technically aren't legal to drive with if you are on a resident visa, only a tourist visa. Not sure what came of that, though.

Gizmotech
February 21st, 2012, 11:28
Hmm... that might make sense if you come from a country with a transferable license... but I have never heard this before.

Page
February 21st, 2012, 12:25
Yeah that's not true for anyone on the license treaty system.

SSJup you'd be fine.

As for MJN's supe, +30 may not be that much but +40 would be court and a big fine. +50 is your license gone for at least 3 months and a month of pay. AND if your BOE makes a big stink about it (and oh they would find out since you'd have to go to court and they'd contact your place of work) you might find yourself not recontracted. Accidents and tickets to teachers/principals are a pretty huge deal here.

But yeah the drivers are shit here so be prepared for people to pull out in front of you with little to no accord, brake around curves and be general fk knuckles.

Ini
February 21st, 2012, 14:34
40+ probably wouldn't be a formal court appearance, just a meeting with a police officer at either the local driving center or sometimes in the basement of the prefectural courthouse in the special traffic offenses section (depends on your prefecture).

MJN
February 21st, 2012, 17:49
yes ok, going to pull out the common sense stick and say don't speed. The fines are worse on expressways if you use them, and that's where police like to sit round blind corners and snipe folk. Unfortunately, that's also where its easiest to find yourself speeding to the greatest extent because some of the limits are so low.

The fines are apparently 10,000 yen for every 10km over the limit you are up to 30km over, rounded up, anything more I've just been advised not to get caught doing so, don't do it. Also there are slightly different speed limits for K/Light cars compared to real ones.

That being said, if you do manage to get a K-car to that kind speed you'll probably be dead anyway because the windscreen will have caved in and shredded you.

Depending where you are in the inaka, you'll probably find all traffic doing a steady 20 over, and I've always found sitting in the flow of things rather than leading the pack seems to be a safe way of not getting caught doing anything you shouldn't. Actually going the speed limit really feels like you're holding the place up. If you are in a city, you don't have to worry about speeding seeing as your handbrake will be on constantly, anyway.

Roser
February 21st, 2012, 22:22
What is the difference between yellow reg cars and white reg cars?

uthinkimlost?
February 21st, 2012, 22:26
Engine power. Also, the cheaper the yellow plate the more likely your demise.

MJN
February 21st, 2012, 22:31
Yellow plates are K-cars. They are small, have cheaper tax, insurance, and the vehicle themselves is cheaper. You also don't need to prove you own a parking place to own one.

They are, however, thin on safety features. They feel small, they feel thin. They have pathetic engine sizes and thus speed, but they do seem reliable. Mine runs fine, it has amenities like air conditioning and electric windows, but it's about 5 food wide.

And the truth of the matter is, you have an accident in one and you will die, without a shadow of doubt. There is no joking in that, you use an expressway and crash, your remains will be sent home to your family in Tupperware.

uthinkimlost?
February 21st, 2012, 22:35
If you pay for a higher end yellow plate you can get crumple zones and 4wd and airbags.

Most ALTs would prefer to roll the dice on a death trap and spend the difference on Jägermeister in a FF XV collector's flask.

Roser
February 21st, 2012, 22:37
Ah oki if I can get one with some form of safety feature I will be happy enough. Currently drive a toyota corolla 2004- what would this be? Yellow or white?

uthinkimlost?
February 21st, 2012, 22:49
http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/18600000/Betty-White-golden-girls-vs-designing-women-18665014-520-741.jpg

word
February 21st, 2012, 22:50
Anything that's street-legal in the US is a white-plate here in Japan. Yellow plates would never pass US crash tests.

uthinkimlost?
February 21st, 2012, 22:53
Geo Metros and Pintos are the closest analogues I can think of.

Roser
February 22nd, 2012, 06:26
Geo Metros and Pintos are the closest analogues I can think of.

Sounds scary! *worried lol

Ini
February 22nd, 2012, 06:42
Anything over a 660cc engine is a white plate, anything under is a yellow plate.

mteacher80
February 22nd, 2012, 08:00
you can also put it this way,

My mother inlaw hit a cat in her Mira (yellow plate) and she is now getting a new car. It wasn't totaled but did enough damage that they decided to replace it rather than fix it.

Roser
February 22nd, 2012, 08:26
you can also put it this way,

My mother inlaw hit a cat in her Mira (yellow plate) and she is now getting a new car. It wasn't totaled but did enough damage that they decided to replace it rather than fix it.

Wow. This is scary (poor kitty also) sooo you'd recommend white plate then? Is the price difference astronomical?

Gizmotech
February 22nd, 2012, 08:38
Costs are noticeably different between white plate and yellow plate. Specifically in bi-annual inspections.

My buddy has a nearly fully loaded daihaitsu move. 4WD (kind of a requirement here with the snow), ac, and a fuel inject 660c. The thing can do a pretty good speed, but I agree with everyone here, if the thing crashed we'd be dead. There were a few moments on the Yam express way where we got her up to about 120-130 and I may have started praying to a deity I don't believe in.

word
February 22nd, 2012, 08:59
It doesn't really matter what we recommend; you're gonna just hafta see what your options are when you arrive. Your pred will probably try to sell you his/her car if he/she owns one. If he/she does, odds are it's a ten-plus-year-old rusty piece of sh*t Suzuki Alto (yellow plate) with 124,573,278,382 km on the odometer. You can explore other options, but, generally, buying from your pred is gonna be the easiest option. They may not own a car, or they may be leasing, or they may have a nice white plate for which they want more money than you can afford. Who knows? You'll just have to wait and see.

MJN
February 22nd, 2012, 12:33
I have a Mira, a yellow-plate, from 2004 with 75000km on the clock now. I'm not into cars, I have no idea things like the engine size or these other fancy words being thrown about. It runs, that's what's important to me.

Without being sarcastic, I'll admit I have pushed the speed limit a couple of times, usually expressways or otherwise dead roads in the middle of night where there is clear line of sight of things (or nothing) coming. Deer are honestly my major concern in my neck of the woods.

The thing is, you have a K-car and go 100kph in it (Speed limit of major 2-3-or more lane expressways), and it honestly feels unsafe. It can sit at 110, 120 or so and work, but the thing sounds like it's about to rattle apart and it's something I really don't like doing. In a K-car, at that speed, if I crashed I would be dead, there is absolutely no questioning that. I would only go that speed if there was absolutely no other traffic and it was a fine, clear road I can sit in the middle lane of without being a bother. With other people in the car I wouldn't ever dream of going above 100, heck probably wouldn't go above 80.

But, the cheapness, that's the huge factor. That's why you want one. I got mine for 200,000 with 2 years shaken and optional insurance. I use it for commuting to work on tiny little crappy backroads, which it's utterly perfect for. The thing can turn on a pinhead and navigate small towns far better than real cars: I can't imagine the number of Gaijin traps I'd have slipped a tyre into if the car was only a foot wider.

The only problem, the thing I don't like, is the occasional trip to the city which I do sometimes take the expressways for. I'd prefer a more substantial car for that, but I'm also not about to drop a fortune buying one - my existing thing, for the meantime, does it fine.

Gizmotech
February 22nd, 2012, 13:09
MJN, I love how you mention they can turn on a dime, and yet my friend and her shite kei car can barely turn a corner.

MJN
February 22nd, 2012, 15:07
MJN, I love how you mention they can turn on a dime, and yet my friend and her shite kei car can barely turn a corner.

well ok, mine has a pretty good turning circle.

MJN
February 22nd, 2012, 15:09
Wait, I see the problem!


her

It's not the car's fault.

Roser
February 22nd, 2012, 19:50
Thanks for your posts- hopefully I will get accepted and I can worry about these things :)

Eudox
February 23rd, 2012, 00:09
Your pred will probably try to sell you his/her car if he/she owns one. If he/she does, odds are it's a ten-plus-year-old rusty piece of sh*t Suzuki Alto (yellow plate) with 124,573,278,382 km on the odometer.

.....

Yeah, I have a crappy Suzuki Alto.

I don't know... I mean, American cars are frickin' huge, and it may be because the cars used in NZ are almost entirely Japanese imports, but I don't feel as unsafe as everyone else seems to. For starters, the expressways (that I've been on), rule out the possibility of a head on collision, so you don't have that added speed coming from the opposite direction.

I wouldn't recommend doing what I do (110km/h in the Alto), but if you have a higher end yellow plate then I wouldn't worry about it. That being said, I'll be getting a 4WD white plate once I can afford it.

MJN
February 23rd, 2012, 15:27
For starters, the expressways (that I've been on), rule out the possibility of a head on collision, so you don't have that added speed coming from the opposite direction.

The major expressways that I've used in my neck of the woods (i.e Sanyo) have a split carriageway. There's some less-major ones that's don't bother.

The real problem is on the inner-city highways/bypasses that do have similar speeds (or ability to speed) that don't split the traffic. My prefectures' major city's bypass is awful for this, it's a 80kph road with nothing but cones between the lanes, and everyone does 110 anyway.

It's also far more fun to press the 'avoid highways' button on the ol' GPS have have a fun route through roads thinner than your car, and sometimes ironically faster than the major roads because no one sodding uses them and you're not stuck behind a bus doing 50 for most of the way.

Gizmotech
February 23rd, 2012, 15:39
For those of you from regular English speaking countries of the 21st century, a split carriageway is a split highway or expressway likely using Concrete/Jersey barriers.

word
April 14th, 2012, 14:14
All right guys; now is the time. You've only got a few weeks. If you don't have your drivers' license, GET IT NOW. Like... NOW NOW.

Takoyaki
April 19th, 2012, 10:20
renewed mine for another 10 years this morning just incase i need to drive at my placement, 168$ though sighhhhhhhhh

Prospective
April 19th, 2012, 10:28
I'm definitely going to miss out on mine. I got my learner's permit on 7th Feb and have to have it for 3 months. So I'd only get my licence by the 7th of May... Which means the 3 month period would be 7th of August. I'll still try and get my full licence in case they overlook the fact that it is only 2 months and 3 weeks, but I'm not holding onto much hope. If bureaucrats in Australia aren't willing to be flexible I doubt bureaucrats in Japan will be :p

Gizmotech
April 19th, 2012, 11:00
I'm definitely going to miss out on mine. I got my learner's permit on 7th Feb and have to have it for 3 months. So I'd only get my licence by the 7th of May... Which means the 3 month period would be 7th of August. I'll still try and get my full licence in case they overlook the fact that it is only 2 months and 3 weeks, but I'm not holding onto much hope. If bureaucrats in Australia aren't willing to be flexible I doubt bureaucrats in Japan will be :p

From the sounds of it you're pretty much screwed. Just give up on your aussy license, do the testing here in Japan, and then transfer that back to aussyland when you eventually go home.

WARNING: Do not renew your home license within the three months before coming to Japan unless your license specifically mentions when it was FIRST issued. I made this mistake and now I am waiting for a driving record to be shipped from Canada which proves I've driven for over 10 years as my license only says 1 month on it (I renewed it before I left when I had an increase in my motorcycle level added to it. FAIL)

Prospective
April 19th, 2012, 11:12
Yeah... you're right, probably not worth the money to get it sorted here when it's not gonna fly over there...

I requested and urban placement and said I don't have a licence, but I know that doesn't necessarily mean shit. I could still be stuck in BFI within bike distance of my school but SFA else. I guess if I hate the isolation that much I'd be happy to sink the cash into getting a licence and car the Japanese way.

therealwindycity
April 19th, 2012, 11:32
a ten-plus-year-old rusty piece of sh*t Suzuki Alto (yellow plate) with 124,573,278,382 km on the odometer.

That's my ride

Eudox
April 19th, 2012, 13:13
From the sounds of it you're pretty much screwed. Just give up on your aussy license, do the testing here in Japan, and then transfer that back to aussyland when you eventually go home.


Why? Unless the Aussie license is expensive to get, you may as well just get it. You may get someone who misreads the date/doesn't give shイt and will just transfer it anyway.

Igor
April 19th, 2012, 13:31
I dunno how much you've looked up but getting a license from scratch the Japanese way is way $$$$ and time so even the slim chance of avoiding that is worth it imo.

Prospective
April 19th, 2012, 13:37
Yeah I know it's pretty intense, but then again I don't have anyone here to teach me to drive so I'd be looking at $100+ lessons just for a slim chance someone MIGHT overlook the 3 month period and allow me to convert my licence.

I applied saying I won't have a licence, so hopefully I'll have access to decent public transport. If it's unbearable, getting a Japanese licence might be worth it, despite the costs. I should get my partner to get his licence in Australia before he comes to Japan, though... Then he can be my chauffeur :cool:

Igor
April 19th, 2012, 13:43
Hmmmm, yeah, I can see lesson costs being a Thing. I didn't have a license and did the whole thing from scratch and would do it again, but I also knew I was going to be staying for a while and was starting to crack from the isolation. If you're bringing your partner you probably won't go so crazy, though, though your partner might if he can't drive.

madeleine
April 19th, 2012, 13:47
I'm not sure if you can take the test if you don't have a license already? Most Japanese people enroll in a driving school (which I think my sup told me is around 30 man), and then have to drive with licensed driver in the car for x amount of time, and then an assessor will drive with them to see if they pass the test. I think that's how it was explained to me at least!

I think you can get an IDP without the 3 month rule, but you wouldn't be able to get your license translated a year later. Maybe if you went home within a year though (and assuming you leave with group B) you might be able to count those days you were back home as part of the "3 months", this is what they did when I was getting my license translated.

word
April 19th, 2012, 14:54
Why? Unless the Aussie license is expensive to get, you may as well just get it. You may get someone who misreads the date/doesn't give shイt and will just transfer it anyway.word


I dunno how much you've looked up but getting a license from scratch the Japanese way is way $$$$ and time so even the slim chance of avoiding that is worth it imo.word

Seriously, my advice to anyone who's cutting it close is to try anyway. The amount of money and time you'll save makes the attempt worthwhile.


Yeah I know it's pretty intense, but then again I don't have anyone here to teach me to drive...Don't let that worry or stop you. Anyone who has ever watched someone else drive for more than five minutes could probably manage the basics, and if you're even a marginally functional, capable person, you're probably gonna be a better driver than most Japanese people.

And c'mon, guy. I'm sure you've got friends. Just ask one of 'em to take you into a parking lot, run you through the basics, and give it a go. It's easy, enjoyable, and, at times, essential.


I should get my partner to get his licence in Australia before he comes to Japan, though...Yeah, definitely do that.

Gizmotech
April 19th, 2012, 14:59
And c'mon, guy. I'm sure you've got friends. Just ask one of 'em to take you into a parking lot, run you through the basics, and give it a go. It's easy, enjoyable, and, at times, essential.

This. It's how I learned to drive stick after 10 years of automatic. Asked one of my friends to teach me, so we just drove around an empty church parking lot for an hour or two until I got the hang of it. Wasn't really hard, but clutch finesse takes time to learn :)

Prospective
April 19th, 2012, 15:09
My friends are all on "provisional" licences (3 year licence after your learner's permit until you get a "full" licence). Which means they can't teach me how to drive (on actual roads, at least). Only fully licenced drivers can supervise learner drivers here. The carpark thing would work, but I'd still need some practice on a real road.

I'm probably just making excuses and being lazy, though... :p

Igor
April 19th, 2012, 16:55
It's up to you in the end but just know that a ton of placements in JET that are even technically deemed "doable" without a car aren't very fun if you don't have one. None of my preds had cars, but it's a 30 minute walk to the nearest school and there's one bus that goes every hour to the nearest store, which if you walk is about an hour and a half hike down along a bunch of onion fields. My direct pred brought his wife and she pretty much had a nervous breakdown and they left after one year.

I mean, I'm sure you've heard stories, but it can be such a waste of your time here if you can't drive. And getting your license from scratch here is also a big waste of several months.

therealwindycity
April 19th, 2012, 17:13
Even with the convenience of having a car in Japan, though, be warned that parking here is kind of a nightmare sometimes. Don't ever park your car anywhere that you aren't absolutely sure is ok, because someone is going to have a meltdown over it and might think it's easier to call the police than to try to deal with someone who they're worried can't speak Japanese. Also, if you drive to a somewhat urban area, the amount you save on train tickets will immediately be eaten up by pay parking.

Eudox
April 19th, 2012, 17:24
Just put your hazard lights on - problem solved!

Igor
April 19th, 2012, 17:38
Haha, up here in grizzly country the world is my parking lot basically.

MJN
April 19th, 2012, 20:14
Even with the convenience of having a car in Japan, though, be warned that parking here is kind of a nightmare sometimes. Don't ever park your car anywhere that you aren't absolutely sure is ok, because someone is going to have a meltdown over it and might think it's easier to call the police than to try to deal with someone who they're worried can't speak Japanese. Also, if you drive to a somewhat urban area, the amount you save on train tickets will immediately be eaten up by pay parking.

I'm going to refute this, but I also live in the country. Parking just about anywhere seems ok, if I was being sarcastic I'd say that parking in the middle of the sodding road like baa-chans do is ok.

I've found leaving my car in marked bays just about anywhere is fine, or at least I've not run into problems. I accidentally left it parked in a bus stop, once, before Christmas for a long weekend - thought it was the train station car park, it was dark, I missed the sign. Had a "whoops" moment when I came back and saw the sign.

Also city parking is fine - look for the dodgy back-ally parking, you can trust it and (in my local shinkansen stop city) it costs in the region of 100 for a few hours, up to 500 for a day. Stay in the massive multi-stories, yea, you'll fork out a fortune.

Eudox
April 19th, 2012, 21:49
Also city parking is fine - look for the dodgy back-ally parking, you can trust it and (in my local shinkansen stop city) it costs in the region of 100 for a few hours, up to 500 for a day. Stay in the massive multi-stories, yea, you'll fork out a fortune.

You'd be better keeping this information to yourself, lest someone try to hurt you :mad:

Kewne
April 21st, 2012, 05:55
Just to check, International Drivers Licence, is the same as the International Drivers Permit (IDP), right? A document that translates the licence into several other languages - not a card licence?

Gizmotech
April 21st, 2012, 06:59
correct

MJN
April 23rd, 2012, 19:04
You'd be better keeping this information to yourself, lest someone try to hurt you :mad:

Why, do you run an expensive inner-city car park in an inaka "city"?

therealwindycity
April 23rd, 2012, 20:22
This.

Had the cops called on me which led to a ton of people getting involved. It was awful. Then the guy who called the cops to complain tried to flirt with me over the phone and ask if it was okay to call me again.

Gd it I would have been so pissed if that had happened. For me it was an insane obaachan izakaya owner, who spouted out a ten minute racist diatribe to the police while I was standing right there. Also my landlady - she didn't call the police, but makes it a nightmare for anyone to park at my house.

word
April 23rd, 2012, 21:14
God, I'm so lucky I live out in the inaka. I can park wherever the f*ck I want; have spaces for like eight cars in my front yard. That kinda sh*t just sounds crazy.

Page
April 24th, 2012, 11:28
Yeah they're pretty forgiving out here as long as it's not an actual store. We had an ALT get in huge trouble for parking overnight in a store parking lot and she had to apologize to the BOE, police, her schools, and the owner of the company. And this was a huge store with a big parking lot (not like they had no spaces free because of it).

Ini
April 24th, 2012, 11:39
a crazy old man once told me that because they are public buildings you are free to leave your car over night in places like city hall/town hall/culture centres. I have done this now and again when in a strange town but I'm not sure on the legality of it.

MJN
April 24th, 2012, 13:33
I've left my car at the hospital, train station and a bus stop (accident) before with nothing bad happening for multiple nights.

AVN
April 24th, 2012, 22:43
I've left my car at the hospital, train station and a bus stop (accident) before with nothing bad happening for multiple nights.

My friend had her car towed so... I guess you were lucky?

mteacher80
April 25th, 2012, 04:30
i never saw cars towed in MY JAPAN(tm) they would be left in shopping center parking lots, banks, city hall, movie theaters, saizeriya lots....covered in dirt, a few police stickers on their windshields, four flat tires and have been there for 10 days to 10 years.

In Kyoto/Osaka/Kobe I would always park in the above mentioned 500yen for a full day of parking lots. anywhere else I would do what ini mentioned, city halls always seemed to be a good place to start.

MJN
April 25th, 2012, 12:27
My friend had her car towed so... I guess you were lucky?

I don't think they could fit a car tow down just about any road in my town bar the main street. Do they even tow cars in Japan? Thought it was the yellow mirror thing.

And I severally doubt my car would be the first to get towed, the people that leave their cars doing things like parked infront of access roads or a lane in the middle of said main road overnight would be the first.

Thinking, maybe I shouldn't encourage poor parking behaviour. Learn your own Japan before you dump a car for a weekend.

AVN
April 25th, 2012, 23:08
I don't think they could fit a car tow down just about any road in my town bar the main street. Do they even tow cars in Japan? Thought it was the yellow mirror thing.

And I severally doubt my car would be the first to get towed, the people that leave their cars doing things like parked infront of access roads or a lane in the middle of said main road overnight would be the first.

Thinking, maybe I shouldn't encourage poor parking behaviour. Learn your own Japan before you dump a car for a weekend.

I think the last part is very important. Some places might have strict parking policies and others might not. Get a feel for your placement.

My friend left her car in a bus station parking lot and when she got back her car was gone. She had to call around and they'd towed it to her school. It was super embarrassing!

devibescyardone
May 5th, 2012, 20:05
Question:

So I have a NY learners permit that expires 2013, moved back to Trinidad and Tobago (my native country) where I am hoping to get my license....it'll be less than 3 months though..........

So....should I just use my NY learner's permit, or my (hopefully) new Trinidad and Tobago license to get a Japanese Driving License or IDP?

Any advice peeps?

(Sidenote: shortlist candidate for 2012)

word
May 5th, 2012, 20:13
Get both and try to get your license with both of 'em. Get the IDP in either case, but if there's even a possibility that you'll stay longer than a year, you should try to have a foreign DL that you can convert... even if you don't technically meet the legal requirements, you might get away with it, and it's worth the attempt.